Style Counsel: September Collection

After such a sensational summer… and I am referring to the weather not Love Island, I’m still a little reluctant to be browsing autumn/winter collections – although it won’t be long before there’s a chill in the air once again and we’re layering on sweaters.

Believe me, it does not escape my notice that when I research the trends for a new season there is a lot of repetition. Apparently animal print is ‘in’ for AW18! When is it not ‘in’? Season after season it is reworked and never out of style. So, this issue I’ve tried very hard to identify trends for you that are a little different and first up is THE colour of AW18… Brown!

Brown is not the easiest colour to wear. You need to find a shade that suits your skin tone, from creamy caramel to rich chocolate. However, once you find the tone that suits you, you will look chic and luxurious. Pretty Woman fans will love the polka dot dress from Massimo Dutti! The lightweight fabric is great for the milder transitional months, and as the temperature drops I’d layer a thin black polo neck underneath.

Printed Polka Dot Dress, £99.95, Massimo Dutti

These culottes from Zara are a great inexpensive way to dabble in the brown trend. Not only are they in the key colour, they combine another AW18 trend – sheer skirting – and make it wearable. Wear now with a slogan T-shirt and trainers and then for an autumn night on the town with a camisole and heels.

Pleated Culottes, £29.99, Zara

Next up, we’re looking at check, it’s massive… literally and figuratively.

I think Marks & Spencer are amazing at coats. They’re inexpensive, well made and reference trends in a very accessible way, just like this one with an oversized check. I’d get so much use from this piece, styled as they have or with skinny black trousers, polo neck and boots for a ‘beatnik’ vibe:

Checked Zipped Front Coat, £79, M&S

For a more youthful take on this trend head to Topshop to find a multitude of checked and tartan pieces. My favourites are the pencil skirt and their cool trousers – check out the animal print trim – LOVE!

Check Pencil Midi Skirt, £39, Topshop
Mixed Tartan Check Trousers, £39, Topshop

Speaking of animal print, there’s just no escaping it, it’s a huge trend for this A/W. If you’re a bit bored of the usual however, never fear. I’ve found a few new variations with sensational Zebra or snake print. I love leopard print so much it’s practically a neutral in my book, but zebra is a much bolder statement. I adore New Look’s snake-print shirt. The simple masculine cut contrasts so well with the print, it doesn’t look fussy. Amazing with jeans or black trousers and in evenings tucked in to a black pencil skirt with a few buttons left open.

High-neck cut-out midi dress in zebra print, £38, ASOS
Brown Snakeskin Print T-Shirt, £19.99, New Look

Now let’s be honest, if I were to buy even 50 per cent of everything I recommend in my style column I’d be bankrupt and destitute however I will be putting my money where my mouth is for this beauty. Staying with the animal print, the Sarah Haran Ivy clutch (in what I’d call Dalmatian) provides the perfect hint of a trend without going overboard and that’s why I die over accessories – it’s so easy to style your classic investment pieces to look current. Sarah Haran bags are designed in Scotland (and I also adore a patriotic shout-out) but more than that you can pick your hardware (got to be gold!) and it has a hot pink lining!

Ivy Clutch, £150, Sarah Haran

In an effort to involve the entire family in my style musings I’ve been browsing what’s on offer for the kids. While sourcing the Massimo Dutti brown-spot dress I stumbled across their kids range and if you dream of your kid looking like the cover child for Vogue Bambini, this is the place.

Bejewelled Striped Cotton T-Shirt, £22.95, Massimo Dutti

Who can resist a Breton? If you can we can’t be friends, sorry. The epitome of laid back continental chic (with added jewels) your child may look even more stylish than you. For the boys, if I want to elevate my kid’s usual H&M attire Boden is the place to go. Their crew jumper is perfect as the summer months cool into autumn, and for a pop of colour in winter.

Graphic Crew Jumper, £32-£37, Boden

But what about the man in your life? I’m forever battling with my husband over his ‘comfort over style’ approach to dressing. This shirt from Whistles might be a good compromise. It’s a great autumnal shade and can be worn now open as a lightweight jacket and then buttoned up in winter.

Corduroy Classic Shirt, £99, Whistles

And while I do hope that we might still have some of this wonderful summer left to enjoy in September, the good news story is there’s some fabulous autumnal looks waiting just around the corner.


Cathy Owen is a freelance creative with 15 years’ experience in PR, fashion show production, as a photoshoot producer, art director, model agency manager and casting agent. Her greatest achievement to date is managing to style a shoot with kids, animals and a hot air balloon!

Find Cathy’s blog at or follow on l @cathyocreative

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